communication, condescending twatbags, first world problems, social media, stupid people

“You better tell that girl to shut up…”

Back in the early 1990s, I was a college student who worked at the campus radio station. In the beginning, I loved being a deejay. I was pretty good at it, as I have a voice that sounds good over a microphone. I used to make commercials for my parents’ business and announce at horse shows, so it was only natural that I would enjoy being a disc jockey at the campus radio station. Another reason I liked being a deejay was that I would get exposed to music I wouldn’t ordinarily hear on my own. One band I was introduced to in those days was called Transvision Vamp.

The alternative band, which hailed from Merry Olde England in the 1980s, is now defunct. But they had one funny number that I still enjoy listening to called “Tell That Girl to Shut Up”. The song was a hit in 1988, when I was in high school, but I became familiar with it when I was a Longwood (College) University student in the early 90s. And I’m thinking of that song this morning as I think about something that happened last night. Some of you who read this are going to think it’s ridiculous that I’m writing about this topic today, but it’s Friday, and I’m not quite ready to review Jill Duggar Dillard’s new book. So here goes…

Yeah, you tell her… STFU.

Below are the lyrics to “Tell That Girl to Shut Up”:

Well you got that girl and she lives with you
And she does just want you want her to
And when I call you on the phone, she says you’re not there
But I know you’re home-

You better tell that girl to shut up
You better tell that girl I’m gonna beat her up
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl

Well we used to be the best of friends
Now all that’s gonna have to end
But there’s just one thing that I can’t see
How she’s got got you hanging up on me

You better tell that girl to shut up
You better tell that girl I’m gonna beat her up
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl

Well I guess you’re like that all of the time
But it takes more than that for me to lose my mind
Don’t you know that I don’t care?
Maybe if I hit her, maybe if I pulled her hair
Oh oh hey yey yeah

Well, she likes to seem intellectual
And to be a musician she goes to school
And the way she acts is so uncool
I just can’t stand her

You better tell that girl to shut up
You better tell that girl I’m gonna beat her up
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl

Ooh you better tell, yeah you better tell, oh
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl

Girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, girl

You better tell that girl to shut up
You better tell that girl I’m gonna beat her up
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl
You better tell that girl to shut up!

This is a really catchy song written by Holly Vincent, and it captures the mood sometimes. Mind you, I don’t condone violence, nor would I ever beat someone up, unless they somehow provoked me into physically defending myself. But sometimes the urge is there to just slap the taste out of someone’s mouth, because they are deliberately being an asshole, and trying to stir up shit, when all you want to do is just be in the world.

Such was the case last night, as Bill was having an online session with his Jungian therapist. I was sitting alone at the kitchen table looking at Facebook. I had meant to be reading Jill Duggar’s book, but just never got around to it. I happened across a post by Bitchy Waiter.

Granted, no question has been asked, as there is no question mark.

I don’t often post comments on Bitchy Waiter’s page, or any other page, for that matter. Far too often, I’ve run into rude cretins who just want to start trouble with strangers. But last night, I did choose to comment. This is what I wrote.

I preferred food service because it paid better. Also, I had better bosses.

Nothing wrong with that comment, right? It’s actually pretty boring. I wouldn’t have expected it to attract a rude comment, but hey– it’s Facebook– and confrontational jerks abound there. Someone named Pattie tagged me and wrote something along the lines of “That wasn’t the question.”

I gave Pattie an orange anger emoji and wrote, “Shut up!”

Maybe I should have just posted this video.

I had a feeling she’d come back, even though I think I was clear that I wasn’t interested in engaging with her. Sure enough, she didn’t disappoint. She came back and wrote something along the lines of, “Shut up? How old are you?”

I blocked her, because there were just too many answers I could have given that would have turned our conversation into a huge spectacle. For instance, I could have told Pattie to “go fry herself.” Or maybe she should “go flame broil herself.” Or maybe she should go be an all beef pattie somewhere else, with someone who has a grill big enough to accommodate her. I wasn’t in the mood to flame her ground up standard cuts into taco filling.

Pattie just wanted to pick a fight with someone, and she’d decided to try it with me. It takes two people to fight, though, and I wasn’t interested in giving her narcissistic fuel supply or wasting energy on an online confrontation with her, especially since I’d been drinking. So I hit the block button and ended the pain. But I was left wondering if this was really what she wanted. Was it Pattie’s goal to be blocked by me?

Then I was left with more questions. Does Pattie work as a server? Did she ever? Is being confrontational how she interacts with her tables? With people she meets on the street? With her friends and family? They say something innocuous, and she comes back with a confrontation or an insult? Why do people feel the need to be so rude and hostile to people they don’t even know? Pattie and I have at least one thing in common, and that is the fact that we both follow Bitchy Waiter. Why is that an invitation to be rude to me? There was nothing about my comment that called for her to address me in the way she did. She very quickly showed me that I don’t want to talk to her, hence why I advised her to shut up.

I’ve actually been thinking about unfollowing Bitchy Waiter, though, because I feel like I’ve outgrown the bitterness I’ve had after the experience of waiting tables. I also get tired of reading constant demands for people to tip their servers ever increasing amounts. I think restaurant owners should pay their staff appropriately, since they are the people who ultimately hire the servers. Customers who wish to tip should certainly do so… or not… since tips usually aren’t mandatory.

If the owners were paying their staff, it would mean that the staff is definitely compensated for their hard work, instead of relying on the kindness and generosity/guilt complexes of strangers. And maybe people could enjoy an evening out without constantly being pressured to order more than they want or need. Dining out in America is a stressful experience, mainly because servers are pressured to get people in and out as quickly as possible, with a bill that is as high as possible, so the tip is as high as possible. I like how it’s done in Europe, where people get paid appropriately regardless, have adequate time off, and are grateful when someone tips them.

That’s just my opinion about tipping, even though I’ve worked in the industry and completely understand why the system is the way it is. It doesn’t mean I need someone to explain why I must tip, nor do I need a primer on how things work, or a hostile lecture about why I’m “wrong” about the practice of tipping. This is just my view, and it’s not been formed in ignorance, nor is it up for debate. Opinions aren’t facts, so they have to be taken with a grain of salt. I know my view isn’t popular, but it’s how I feel.

That being said, of course I tip properly and generously, especially when I’m in the United States. I know that most servers don’t really get paid anything but tips. But I still think the system sucks. I don’t want to argue about it, because I’ve thought about it long enough to know how I feel and why I feel that way. If someday, I get new and compelling information about why tipping is better than employers actually paying their staff, I may change my mind.

Because I don’t want to argue about subjects like the importance of tipping, I don’t often comment on Bitchy Waiter’s page. I find him entertaining, and I think he’s got multiple talents. He’s worth paying attention to sometimes. That’s why I follow him. But I don’t agree with constantly pressuring people to tip more and more, so I don’t engage too often with him. When I do comment, I try to keep my comments banal.

Last night’s comment was pretty boring; so why did it attract Pattie? I don’t know. When I saw Pattie’s confrontation, my actual first instinct was to tell her to “shut the fuck up”. But, instead of posting that the f-bomb, I simply wrote the marginally more polite “shut up”. Most people know what that means, but I guess Pattie didn’t. It’s basically an invitation to go away, because I don’t owe her a conversation or a defense of my comments. She didn’t accept my invitation to leave me alone, and came back with negativity. So now we won’t be interacting at all. It’s probably no big loss to her. I know it’s no big loss to me.

I do wonder what the hell happened to Pattie to make her think it’s okay to approach people in such a way. Maybe that makes me a late 80s relic. I don’t think today’s people even think about this stuff. Younger people have apparently skipped the part of home training that includes basic manners and engaging people with respect and dignity. However, I also realize that I’m becoming a crotchety old hag with no patience. I’ll own that, as I tell that girl to shut up…

The older I get, the less patience I have for people like Pattie… total strangers on social media who, for whatever reason, feel the need to be egregiously aggressive and rude to people they don’t know. I wouldn’t tolerate it offline; so I don’t tolerate it online.

I’ll bet Pattie is pretty cheesy, too…

May deformed all beef Pattie be turned into Wendy’s chili meat.

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complaints, condescending twatbags, funny stories, memories, rants

Repost: Here’s your mac n’ cheese, lady… now GTFO of my life!

Hey everyone. It’s a little after 8 AM, and I’ve got just the dashiest dash of writer’s block. Something profound may come to me soon, but I think I’m more in the mood to make music today. I was looking at my Facebook memories, and I came upon a post from 2017 by Bitchy Waiter. It was about entitled people who feel like they can order stuff that isn’t on the menu, then get pissed and write shitty reviews when the restaurant says they can’t make it for them.

In the comment section of that post, I shared with Alex an article I wrote for my original OH blog. It was titled “Cheese eating bitches”, but I’ve retitled it for this blog, so I can get the green SEO score and avoid cussing in the subject line. I know that some people are turned off by curse words right off the bat. ūüėČ

I know not everyone likes the reposts, but sometimes they do pay off… Besides, I want to preserve some of them for posterity. So, here’s “Cheese eating bitches”, which originally appeared on my blog on July 23, 2016. The featured photo is of mac n’ cheese I ordered for myself at a different, more child friendly restaurant, years later. Hope you enjoy it…

This morning, I was reminded of a horrible incident that occurred 18 (now 25 years ago) years ago when I was waiting tables. I was out on the terrace at dinnertime. It was a hot, sunny, late afternoon. That meant the terrace was going to be hopping and I knew I would probably be running around like a chicken with my head cut off for many hours.

At the restaurant where I worked, there was no children’s menu.  The chefs would make accommodations for kids, but only if they were asked ahead of time.  That meant that even though they would make a grilled cheese sandwich (which wasn’t on the menu), we had to ask them before we put in the order.  If you didn’t ask, you ran the risk of being chewed out by the kitchen staff or not getting your order.  For those working on the terrace, asking about special requests took extra time because the kitchen was literally the equivalent of a block away.

I was out there on the terrace with two colleagues.  One colleague, who is probably now a physician somewhere, because I remember he was planning to go to medical school, was an overly helpful type of person.  He was eager to please diners, sometimes to his own and other servers’ detriment.  Now that I think about it, maybe he’s yet another reason why I dislike doctors so much.  But, I digress… 

A couple came up with their two small kids and asked if there was a children’s menu.  The hostess politely told them we didn’t have one.  They were about to walk away and find a more suitable restaurant.  But then, the overly helpful guy said, “We do have grilled cheese sandwiches.”  Now, when he said this, I inwardly groaned to myself because I knew that if they came back and sat down, they would be requesting special items for their kids.  Looking at them, I could tell they were strongly considering returning.

It’s not that I don’t like kids, by the way.  Kids should go out to restaurants, because that’s the best way they can learn how to behave in one when they’re older.  And I agree, it would have been a lot easier for us wait staff had the restaurant owners simply offered a children’s menu, so people could more easily feed their special snowflakes.

However, one of the owners was a somewhat famous cookbook author and TV chef, and he wanted his place to be upscale and adult oriented. The owners didn’t want to encourage people to bring their children to the restaurant, even though it was located in the heart of Williamsburg, Virginia, where scores of kids come through, needing to be fed. The restaurant owners’ rules made it difficult for wait staff to appeal to people with kids with simple palates, or picky adults who weren’t used to such high falutin’ dishes. Believe me, I sympathized with the picky folks. I was/am one myself.

It wasn’t just catering to kids that was fraught with difficulty at this place. Servers were frequently put in the position of not being helpful to guests. We were forced to charge people for Parmesan cheese, for instance. Many guests thought it was unreasonable to be charged for what seemed like a simple condiment. They didn’t realize that the cheese was actually off of a wheel from Parma, Italy, and not coming from a green can made by Kraft. They’d get pissed off at us, but we were just following the rules set by our employers. There was really nothing we could do, especially since we had to get the Parmesan cheese from the chef, rather than dry goods storage.

Anyway, sure enough, the family came back, and they were seated in my section. The lady immediately ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, not realizing that I was going to have to ask the chef’s permission. She also asked for macaroni and cheese, which I had to tell her that we didn’t have. She then requested plain pasta for her daughter. Now… I know many people think it’s a simple thing to get plain pasta, but this particular restaurant made its own pasta fresh. A lot of times, the pasta was pre-mixed with other ingredients ahead of time. Because of that, I could not guarantee there would be plain pasta available on any given evening. I told the mom I’d have to ask the chef if any plain pasta was available that night. She said not to bother and her other kid could just eat the grilled cheese too. So I went back and got permission to serve the grilled cheese sandwiches and all was well.

Things were going okay until the dude who had been so helpful passed us with a bowl of plain pasta.  The lady saw it and fixed a hateful gaze upon me.  On that particular night, there had been plain pasta available.  The mom went absolutely ballistic and screamed at me in the middle of the terrace.  I don’t remember all that she said as much as I remember her unreasonable rage and the sheer hatred in her tone of voice as she screeched, “My daughter can’t have plain pasta!”, as if I had deliberately screwed her out of what her daughter had set her heart upon for dinner.  

Since I was a mere server, there was nothing I could do but simply take the abuse and get stiffed on the tip.  I suppose that when I asked about the grilled cheese, I could have asked if any plain pasta was available, even though the lady had said to forget about it.  But when you are fighting the weeds all evening, little details like that can get lost in the shuffle.  And besides, she had said her daughter could eat grilled cheese.  From what I could tell, the kid did enjoy the sandwich just fine and hadn’t been complaining about it. 

After she screamed at me in front of everyone and left me tipless, she, her husband, and the two kids mercifully exited my life.  I was left there feeling shell-shocked, and I was furious at the other waiter who had inadvertently put me in that position.  To make matters worse, the next table in my section was a group of folks who were really looking for a Cracker Barrel.  They, too, stiffed me, although I don’t think it was because they were upset about the food or the service.   

At the next lineup, I made a point of bringing up how servers should not be advertising anything that isn’t listed on the menu. If we have to ask permission to sell something, no one should be offering it to the public beforehand, exactly because of the situation I found myself in on that night. And I also told my colleague that the next time that happened, he was going to be dealing with it. The chefs agreed.

I’m not proud of it, but I am a person who holds grudges.  I still have murderous thoughts about that woman, even though I realize her once small cheese eating kids are now adults.  Fortunately, it’s not often that I think about that particular incident anymore.   

Even when I was half crazy with depression and anxiety, it would never occur to me to explode on someone the way she did to me that day.  As someone who has struggled with “issues”, I can understand on an objective level that the woman was probably hot, tired, and “over it” that day.  I just happened to be the unlucky person caught in the crossfire of her wrath.  As someone with “issues”, I confess that I still fervently wished a flat tire (or worse) for her on her drive home.  

But yeah… eighteen (25) years later, I still think of that raving bitch and have evil thoughts.  Please pass the voodoo doll.

Macaroni and cheese eating bitch, this is for YOU!

Thank God I’m out of the restaurant business.

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family, money, musings, work

Repost: You’ll never make more than minimum wage…

Here’s a repost from January 16, 2016. I am reposting it because it sort of relates to today’s fresh content, right down to my sharing of Ron Block’s beautiful song, “Someone”.

Today’s post is going to be some personal, self-indulgent, introspective drivel that may not interest everyone…  apologies in advance.

Yesterday, a guy I used to work with who is now a Facebook friend posted a tribute to a retired Air Force colonel who recently died.  The colonel, whose name was Luke, had been a manager at the restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia where my friend and I used to work.  I never knew Luke, but I heard many stories about him.  He was one of those people who became legendary everywhere he went. 

My friend’s tribute to Luke was very moving and inspiring.  Luke knew my friend when he was very young and broke.  He stood up for my friend when others were against him.  He helped him become who he is today.  Luke was a few years younger than my dad and may have even run in the same circles with him a time or two.  He retired from the Air Force six years after my dad did; but he was a full colonel, while my dad retired as a lieutenant colonel.

The restaurant where my friend and I used to work was notorious in Williamsburg.  It had a great reputation as a place to eat, and a horrible reputation as a place to work.  The chef, who was also one of the owners, was rather famous because he’d been on television and written a lot of cookbooks.  He was also a Marine.  Having worked in his restaurant, I definitely picked up the military style that was used there to keep things running.  That didn’t mean there wasn’t chaos from time to time.  In fact, when I worked at that restaurant, my life felt like it was totally chaotic.  I was suffering from depression and anxiety and felt like I’d never amount to anything.  At that time, I was also living with my parents.  I was in my mid 20s and had a college degree and international work experience.  But I still felt like a big loser and was unable to find work that would help me launch. 

I remember the day in March 1998 that I decided to apply to work at that restaurant.  I’d had a huge fight with my father.  He told me he thought I was a very arrogant person and that I’d never succeed at anything in life.  He said, “You’ll never make more than minimum wage!”  At the same time, he and my mother were putting tremendous pressure on me to move out on my own.  I was paralyzed by depression and anxiety at the time, and their demands made me feel panicky, helpless, and hopeless.  I was also very angry about a lot of things, particularly that my parents seemed to be ashamed of me and didn’t seem to recognize that I really was trying to become a full fledged adult.

Immediately prior to working at the restaurant, I had been temping at the College of William & Mary.  I was there for several weeks, working in their admissions office, as well as several other places on campus.  I spent the longest time at the admissions office, where I filed away report cards, SAT scores, personal essays, and all of the other stuff hopeful high school kids sent with their bids to achieve admittance.  Having worked in the admissions office and in other places around the campus, I could see why people wanted to go there.  It’s an excellent and prestigious school.  Looking at all the stellar academic records and flawless personal statements written by potential students, I felt a bit sad for myself.  I was a college graduate working as a temp, filing endless reams of papers.  It was mind numbing work that didn’t pay well.

My sister is a William & Mary graduate. ¬†She’s done very well for herself. ¬†They never would have accepted me. ¬†I didn’t measure up to my sister’s greatness, although I do have some things in common with her. ¬†We are both returned Peace Corps Volunteers; we both have advanced degrees in public health; and we both worked at that same restaurant in Williamsburg. ¬†She worked there when it first opened, and I worked there eighteen years later, when I decided I would make more than minimum wage and get on with my life.¬†

I remember being very determined on that day in March when I applied for the job at the restaurant.  It was my first time waiting tables, though I had worked with food in other capacities.  I had even been a cook.  I enjoyed working with food and thought I could be successful.  It also wasn’t lost on me that the skills one learns waiting tables can be applied to many of life’s trials.

As I sat for the interview, I thought of my dad and how pissed off he made me… and how much I wanted to get out from under his thumb.  It was my second attempt at getting a job at that restaurant.  I didn’t mention my initial unsuccessful attempt to the captain or the manager who interviewed me.  I knew if I got hired, I’d make money and be able to get away from my dad and his belittling comments.  I would someday prove myself.  I set my mind to it and got the job.  I’m still friends with the man who hired me.

Working at that restaurant was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. ¬†It was even harder than being a Peace Corps Volunteer. ¬†The work itself was very demanding and stressful. ¬†It was physically and mentally challenging. ¬†I remember coming in every day, when I first started working there, and feeling like I was going to throw up. ¬†I lost a lot of weight and learned how to wait tables. ¬†I made good money. ¬†I was also sick a lot during those 18 months. ¬†I saw a lot of people quit and a lot of people get fired. ¬†I was incompetent as hell at first and worried that I, too, would get fired. ¬†One time, I accidentally spilled beer on a customer. ¬†My dad sneered when he heard about it and asked if I still had a job. ¬†I did. ¬†I learned that if you were reliable, worked hard, and were honest, you wouldn’t get fired. ¬†And eventually, I became competent and even good at the job. ¬†¬†

I was promoted a couple of times and made enough money to cover all my bills. ¬†Living with my parents allowed me to save up for the next step I needed to take. ¬†I sought help for the anxiety and depression I had been suffering from my whole life. ¬†That process, too, was very difficult for me. ¬†I came to some tough realizations about people I cared about and trusted. ¬†After a brush with insanity and suicidal ideation, I finally felt a lot better and made the decision to go back to school. I took the GRE and applied to graduate school and was accepted. ¬†I haven’t had to look back. ¬†It was my final escape from Gloucester County after several dramatic attempts, one of which being my decision to join the Peace Corps.

Going back to school was a life changing experience for me… as much as the Peace Corps was. ¬†But, I have to admit, working at that restaurant with people who knew and loved Luke, was equally earth shattering in the grand scheme of things. ¬†I never knew Luke, but seventeen years after quitting, I am still friends with many of the people I knew in the late 90s when I was working at that job. ¬†I have read their tributes and comments about Luke. ¬†I can see that they all think of him as a comrade or even family… ¬†Maybe they even think of me that way. ¬†I hated the job when I was doing it, but now I’m honored to be in that group of people. ¬†We were the ones who didn’t quit and had achieved some success.

This morning over breakfast, I was talking to Bill about all this stuff on my mind. ¬†I remembered how my dad had told me I’d never make more than minimum wage and would ultimately amount to nothing. ¬†Back then, that comment was devastating to me. ¬†I was in my 20s, and unsure of what to do with my life. ¬†I felt like I was really struggling, even though others surely struggled more than I ever have. ¬†I kept doing all of these things that I thought would help me succeed, yet nothing seemed to lead anywhere. ¬†But now I think of my friend who wrote the tribute to Luke; he actually slept outside a couple of nights because he lived far so away from the restaurant and had to take buses to and from work. ¬†He’d missed the last one and couldn’t afford a motel. ¬†He did what he had to do to succeed in the job and survived. ¬†Now he’s thriving, living in Washington, DC and enjoying what appears to be a very good life.

Thanks to my parents, I never had to sleep outside. ¬†But I felt like I was never going to launch. ¬†Now, I look back on what my dad said and realize that he had no reason to be ashamed of me. ¬†While I may not be the highest achieving person on the planet, I’ve done alright. ¬†And I have made more than minimum wage more than once. ¬†Maybe I didn’t end up being as successful and awesome as my sisters have, but at least I found someone to love, who loves me back. ¬†I haven’t done anything really shameful or embarrassing. ¬†In fact, aside from being overeducated and too fat for my Dad’s tastes, I’m even living an enviable life. ¬†Maybe that was part of his problem with me. ¬†Maybe he felt like I didn’t deserve what I have. ¬†He probably thought I wasn’t living up to his idea of what my potential was… or maybe he was just projecting some of his psychic shit on me. ¬†Who knows?¬†

Anyway, though I can’t say working at that restaurant was a whole lot of fun most of the time, I did learn a lot and met some fine people.  The skills I picked up have served me well in life.  In fact, I’d say in many significant ways, I ended up rather rich.  Reading my friend’s tribute to Luke made me realize something important.  Ripple effects can be positive.  Luke inspired and influenced my friend and my friend, in turn, inspired and influenced me.  I’d say that’s worth as much or more than minimum wage.  And I don’t have to be “someone” to be worthwhile.

This isn’t the way I feel about my dad, but it is kind of how I feel about success…  This song is called “Someone”.  It’s by Ron Block, a musician who has earned my admiration and gratitude.  The words are very wise and meaningful to me.  I think this song could be a theme for my life. (And at the time I wrote this post, Ron hadn’t shared a video of “Someone”, so I made one myself.)

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book reviews

Repost: Steve Dublanica’s Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip- Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

And here’s a repost of another Epinions review from October 2009. It’s also as/is.

I have developed a special empathy for those who wait tables. About eleven years ago, I was struggling to get myself launched into some kind of career and decided to take a job waiting tables at The Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. I had never waited tables before, but I had watched my three older sisters do it successfully. I figured I could handle it. After 18 stressful months, I eventually got the hang of waiting tables and the job did help me move on to bigger and better things. However, the experience definitely left an indelible impression on me and made me realize that I’m not cut out for service industry work. Nevertheless, after my stint waiting tables, I’m still left remembering the experience and feeling like I can commiserate with others as to what the job is like. That’s pretty much why I decided to read Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip- Confessions of a Cynical Waiter, written by Steve Dublanica.

I found out about Waiter Rant by cruising around the Internet. Someone had mentioned Dublanica’s wildly popular blog by the same name and I went to read it. In the course of reading Dublanica’s blog, I learned that he had started the blog anonymously back in 2004 and went to great pains to protect his identity as well as that of the place where he was working. He referred to the place as The Bistro and related all kinds of hilarious and poignant anecdotes about his bosses, co-workers, and customers. Impressed with Dublanica’s witty writing style, I ended up reading his blog for several hours and then ordered his book, which had pretty much forced him to give up his anonymity.

I was hoping the book, Waiter Rant, would be as good as the blog was. Dublanica didn’t disappoint me, as he explained how it was that he had gotten into waiting tables as a guy in his thirties. Dublanica explains that people who wait tables generally fall into three different categories: those who don’t know what they want to do, those who are learning to do something, and those who are professionals. I found myself really relating to Dublanica’s observations about why he was waiting tables. The money can be fairly good and it’s mostly paid in cash at the end of every shift. The hours are generally pretty flexible. And the work, while definitely hard at times, is often interesting… or, at least it’s often busy, which makes the time go faster.

The trouble is, waiting tables is the kind of job where one can get stuck for years. I have a hunch that was what had happened to Dublanica. He had a real desire to be a writer, but like so many other people, he was afraid of failure. So he settled for waiting tables for awhile and eventually became a manager at “The Bistro”, where he ended up mining plenty of “food for thought” for his blog, which later turned into his very entertaining book.

As I read Waiter Rant, I found myself remembering some of my own experiences as a restaurant server. For instance, Dublanica writes about how waiters who work in fine restaurants find themselves thinking they should be eating what their patrons eat. They often develop and broaden their culinary palates to a point that goes beyond their budgets. I know I developed more of an appreciation for fine foods and liquors after I worked at The Trellis. Unfortunately, my love for good food now shows a lot more than it did when I waited tables. I also found myself nodding in agreement when Dublanica writes about waiters who work when they’re sick, waiters who have substance abuse problems, and waiters and other restaurant workers who are working illegally.  He also outlines the different types of customers one runs into while waiting tables.  It’s amazing how some people behave when they’re out to eat.  Some people are wonderful, friendly, and generous… and some people, well, are generous only with attitude and grief.  Frankly, I think the way a person treats a waiter is often a good reflection of the type of person they are.

Dublanica has a way of communicating with his readers as if he’s in a room, talking to them one on one. His writing has a definite conversational style that is engaging and unabashed. I think it will appeal to fellow waiters and ex-waiters because they will recognize Dublanica’s experiences in the trenches. I think it will appeal to those who haven’t waited tables because besides being entertaining, it’s very informative. At the end of the book, Dublanica adds several irreverent appendices on subjects ranging from how to order wine without looking like a twit, to things that every waiter would love to tell their customers, to signs that the restaurant you’re working in is dysfunctional. I think I liked the dysfunctional list the best, since I related to so much of it.

Anyway, I highly recommend¬†Waiter Rant¬†to anyone who wants to know what it’s like to be in the trenches, serving fine food at a busy restaurant. I would also recommend it to those who are now going down that road or have been there before.

For those who want a little taste of¬†Waiter Rant, here’s the address for Steve Dublanica’s blog:¬†www.waiterrant.net.

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silliness

What’s something you can say in a restaurant AND during sex?

This morning, I am determined to write something off the grid. I ran across a funny memory today. It was a meme shared last year by The Bitchy Waiter, who writes a funny blog about waiting tables in the United States and has a very active Facebook page. It’s been a long time since I last waited tables, but I remember the experience well. I don’t always agree with The Bitchy Waiter or his other followers, but I do remember waiting tables all too well. As glad as I am that I had the experience, which taught me a lot about fine food, wines, and liquors, and left me with a lot of great friends, I hope I never have to wait tables again. It’s a good skill to have, though. When there isn’t a pandemic going on, restaurant work is usually plentiful and has kept many a person employed and fed.

But anyway, last year, The Bitchy Waiter shared today’s featured photo. I ran across it this morning and it made me laugh. I’m tired of complaining about the usual shit, and since it’s Monday, I thought I’d write something funny for a change. Or, at least I think it’s funny… maybe you don’t.

So… what’s something you can say in a restaurant AND during sex? My first answer was “No thanks. I’m full.”

Some of my friends joined in with their suggestions and I could post them here. I might decide to rip off a few if I can’t come up with (heh heh, I wrote “come”) any other beauts… Hmmm

  • Something smells fishy
  • I’m not eating anything that looks like that
  • Lots of protein in this
  • I’m hungry
  • That tip is not big enough
  • Feed me!
  • Please pass the sausage
  • I’m NOT paying for this!
  • The service is terrible
  • I want seconds!
  • This is too hot!
  • Blow on it!
  • Can I have a refill?
  • Smells yeasty…
  • Where did this come from?
  • That’s an impressive cut of meat!
  • I’ve had enough
  • What’s with all the jelly?
  • Thank you for satisfying my hunger
  • Service with a smile!
  • Can I have this on the side?
  • I’m a breast man
  • The legs are to die for!
  • Brown sugar tastes so good.
  • Give me some sugar.
  • Tender and juicy!
  • It’s so meaty
  • Creamy and dreamy
  • Succulent… falling off the bone
  • It’s burning!

I guess thirty is enough. I could probably come up with a lot more, but that seems like a waste of time. Bill went in to work today, so I think I’ll do some musical exploration. Maybe I’ll even make a video, although I’m not sure what I’d do. I’m not feeling particularly inspired today. Usually, when I go as far as making a video, I have something in mind that I want to try. Not so this morning… at least not yet.

Hope everyone has a good Monday with as little interpersonal drama as possible. I noticed when I was looking at this post that someone who responded to it last year has blocked me… probably because one of her friends recently attacked me on Facebook and I decided not to be “Facebook friends” with her anymore. I guess I don’t mind being blocked by her, since we didn’t really know each other, and she seems pretty immature, anyway. I mean, I’m probably old enough to be her mother, and I’m not from Utah or even an ex Mormon. I’m pretty sure we found each other on RfM, and I’ve found that I don’t mesh with a lot of people I “meet” there. So it’s just as well.

Maybe the solution to my current social media dilemma is to do a massive “friend” purge. I hate to do that, since I know some people’s feelings get hurt. But I really am finding that I have less time and patience for stupidity, yet deleting Facebook is a bit impractical, since so many people use it and ditching it would make some things more complicated. For instance, the introductions and discussions about the dog we’re hoping to soon bring into our home were done entirely through Facebook. He’s still in Kosovo right now. If I ditch Facebook, then it’s harder to get in touch with the people arranging the adoption.

Also, I run a local wine group that I’m not quite ready to give up yet… especially since we officially got word that we’re going to be staying in Germany for a bit longer. I do need to do something, though. I’m sure some people think I need to develop a thicker skin, but my skin is plenty thick, and getting thicker thanks to all the isolation and lack of exercise and exploration. So we’ll see what happens.

Time to play the guitar and work on my quest to be able to change chords without a one second break.

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